Drug addiction is a complex illness that effects millions of people world wide. Treatment for drug addiction is complex and is tailored according to the individuals needs. According to SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), in 2007 there was 23.2 million people, aged 12 or older in need of treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol use problem, that is 9.4 percent of the U.S. population. Out of that number of those suffering from drug addiction, only 2.4 million received treatment at a specialty facility . This means that 20.8 million people who needed treatment for an addiction  did not receive it.

What is Drug Addiction?

Drug addiction is characterized by intense and uncontrollable drug craving, as well as compulsive drug seeking and use despite the individuals knowledge of drug abuse’s consequences. Drug addiction begins with the individual voluntarily taking drugs, over time a the individual loses the ability to choose not to use drug, and begins to compulsively seek out and consume the drug. These behaviors is caused by the effects of prolonged drug exposure on brain functioning, causing a physical and psychological dependency. Addiction is a brain disease, it affects multiple brain circuits, such as those which are involved with reward and motivation,  learning and memory, as well as the individuals control over behavior.

Can Drug Addiction Be Treated?

Those with a drug abuse and addiction require specialized treatment. There are many different dimensions and disruptions in the individuals life that causes treatment not to be simple. Typically an effective treatment program will incorporate many components, which are directed to a particular aspect of the illness and its consequences, tailoring the treatment to the individuals needs. The objective to addiction treatment is to help the individual stop using drugs, maintain a drug-free lifestyle, and achieve productive functioning in the family, at work, and in society. However, addiction is a chronic disease that many people cannot simply stop using drugs for a few days and be cured. Patients typically will require long-term or regular treatment to achieve their goal of long term abstinence and recovery.

Effective Treatment For Drug Addiction

Studies are regularly conductive to increase the benefits of treatment for drug and alcohol addiction, bettering these services to allow patients to stop using drugs, avoid relapse, and to achieve their goals of life long sobriety. Treatment for drug abuse and addiction can take place on an inpatient or outpatient basis.

No single treatment is appropriate for all patients, this means that effective treatment for drug addiction requires individualized care. The treatment plan will be modified on a regular basis according to the patients needs. An assessment will be preformed to determine if there are any underlying disorders that require treatment services. The treatment received will tend to multiple needs of the patient, not just his or her drug abuse.

Medically assisted detoxification is the first stage of most treatment programs. Cognitive and Motivational therapies, along with individual and group counseling are the most commonly used and effective forms of drug abuse treatment. Pharmacological therapies is commonly used in combination with these therapy and counseling services to reduce cravings and ease symptoms of withdrawal.